The showrunners of The Goldbergs confirmed that Jeff Garlin’s character on the show, Murray, would be killed off following the actor’s departure from the ABC sitcom amidst accusations of on-set misconduct.
Garlin left the series back in December, following reports that he allegedly engaged in verbal and physical conduct that made people on the set of The Goldbergs feel uncomfortable. Because The Goldbergs was still filming its ninth season, the show had to figure out how to work around Garlin’s absence, but Season 10 will pick up several months after Murray’s death.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, co-showrunner Alex Barnow said, “[Murray] will have passed, and we are sort of starting from a place of multiple months removed from his death… This is going to be a family that has not reconciled the fact that their father’s gone but has sort of moved on and has dealt with a lot of that.”
Asked if Garlin knew his character would be killed off, Barnow said, “I’ve had a conversation with Jeff, and he’s aware that he’s not being replaced. The truth is, I don’t know if he knows what his fate is, but I’m assuming he knows, would be the answer to that question. We haven’t had a subsequent conversation since the beginning of writing that he would have any specific clarity on that.”
Barnow said The Goldbergs would instead focus more on the impending arrival of a new baby for newlywed characters Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Geoff (Sam Lerner). With the big changes, the other showrunner, Chris Bishop, said Season 10 “honestly feels like a huge reboot for us.”
Barnow added, “[W]e’re starting with optimism about a baby coming and looking forward to the future. It’s an opportunity for this interesting emotional basis for the way people are behaving. But Jeff won’t be in the series this year, and so far the stories have been largely about looking forward rather than looking back.”
Around the time he left The Goldbergs, he addressed the allegations against him in an interview with Vanity Fair and admitted he’d been under HR investigation for several years. Garlin denied a reported incident with a stand-in ever got physical and said the issue was over “a joke that was completely missed” (he added that he apologized afterward). When confronted with allegations that he made people uncomfortable by touching and hugging them, Garlin replied, “If I hug someone and they feel uncomfortable from it, they have every right to go to HR. But HR has never said a word to me about hugs. Just so we’re clear on that.”
Garlin was also asked about a text he allegedly sent a Goldbergs colleague, suggesting they come to the next table-read without wearing a lot of clothes. Garlin said he didn’t remember sending the text and added, “I’d like to see the text and who I sent it to. But everything that I write like that is joking. I am respectful of women and women’s bodies. And I don’t make jokes about that because I don’t find it funny.”
Garlin, according to IMDB, is set to appear in the upcoming Hollywood historical drama Babylon, directed by La La Land filmmaker Damien Chazelle.